THE LESSER BIRDS OF PARADISE
Since 1998, The Lesser Birds of Paradise have evolved from charming folk-pop to a more ambitious, textured craft. Over the last few years, their sound has been refined to its most organic elements, and their appeal has developed beyond the Chicago indie-rock scene.
Following the lovely A Suitable Frame and It Isn't the Fall EP (both on Loose Thread Recordings) and several national tours, 2004's String of Bees (Contraphonic Music) was met with a larger national presence, and critical acclaim. Rockpile declared, "records like this only come along a few times a year... [their] best effort to date." Back home, the Chicago Reader proclaimed String of Bees to be "so gorgeous it's almost toxic." The Lesser Birds quickly followed that with The Scenery EP (Tight Ship Records). Recorded mostly live in half a day, with very few overdubs, its resulting sparseness and openness was a nice compliment to String of Bees' layered textures and subtle studio trickery.
The Lesser Birds' subtle experiments and arrangements, which acted as flourishes on previous releases, developed into integral muscle on their latest, the mesmeric Space Between. With emphasis on every detail, Space Between opens up secret passageways of sound, where melodies aren't so much played as naturally grown, where single notes, pump organs, xylophones, muted drums, and echoing voices, layer in a warm, seductive embrace. Coupled with tapestries of American Gothic narratives, sly humor, animal characters, and Robert Creeley-cum-Charles Olson poetics, Space Between is a record of lasting impression and importance that has garnered accolades from National Public Radio to the Washington Post Express, and cemented The Lesser Birds of Paradise as one of the more original bands today.
Band photo © 2007 Elite Electro.
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